I hate the way some things are sold

The way some things are sold just don’t make any sense. Well, they are fine from the merchant’s point of view, just not from a customer service perspective. For example:

Mattresses. You don’t really know if a mattress will work for you by laying on it for a few minutes in the store. You have to sleep on it for a week or three. Lots of mattress stores have something like a 30-day return/refund policy, but here’s the problem: those things are so large and unwieldy that they require delivery trucks (not simply USPS or UPS) with two-man team to carry into your house. They can also be hard to get into and out of your bedroom if they’re king size. And for those of us who are ecologically-minded, it’s super wasteful. Once a mattress is delivered to you, if you ask for a refund, they have to take them for disposal. They’re not allowed to re-sell them (that’s what I’ve heard, is it wrong?). So you have a brand new mattress that might be fine for somebody-not-you, but it has to be destroyed on the off chance that it picked up bugs from your home.

Prescription glasses. It’s funny that even if you tell the opticians that you need the glasses for computer work, when they adjust them all they do is look at your face to see how they sit and maybe hold up a piece of paper and ask if you can read it. That simulates a computer screen (especially a double-monitor setup like many people have at work these days) about as well as … well, it doesn’t. Why can’t they sit you down at their desk, bring up a web browser and let you browse with the glasses on for about 30 minutes? I’m really sick of repeated visits to the optician’s office to have the glasses re-adjusted and re-adjusted and re-adjusted. :mad:

You guys with me? Or anything else you can think of like these?

Salespeople really hate you, don’t they?

Yeah, I would take it personally if I were you.

I don’t know if I want a particular car until I’ve driven it a few years.

Ok. Do you have any solutions to this problem? Let you live in the store for three weeks to try it out?

I guess I’m fussier than most. I tend not to return things, actually, and that may be part of my resentment. Also, these tend to be large-dollar items, so I would like to think I can really make an educated, informed purchase. I just think it sucks to spend a lot of money just to try something out. In the case of the mattresses, I don’t think a liberal return policy makes up for the hassle. I’m actually thinking of how I let the husband talk me into buying a Sleep Number bed. His thinking was that since he liked mattresses firmer and I loved pillow-tops, the Sleep Number would make us both happy. Turns out it was an expensive lesson. I HATE that SN bed. It’s “soft” settings don’t feel comfortable to me, it feels like sleeping on a large deflated balloon. I think what they do is dress the beds in the showroom with lots of padding so that they feel very comfortable.

Yeah, I really don’t know the solution and that’s part of my frustration. Has anyone here worked in a bed store before? Do they put lots of mattress pads on the beds to make them seem so luxurious in the store so you’ll buy one? It seems like they always feel much more comfortable in the store than the ones they deliver.

If they do (or even if they don’t), can’t you buy the same sort of pads to put on your mattress at home?

I just bought a mattress on Valentine’s Day. IIRC the company’s website used to have their 30-day return policy on it. But when I went to the store they said no returns, noway, nohow, not on mattress or pillows. Bedbugs, you see. Sign here, here and here.

So at least the “bother” of having to return a mattress that you don’t like is eliminated in that store.

I think having knowledgeable salespeople who can match you to the right mattress by asking the right questions is pretty good at making sure you end up happy with your purchase, after only a few minutes lying down (although you should spend lots of minutes lying down, with and without your bed partner. The store doesn’t mind.)

health care;
prescription drugs;
legal services;

However, the internet is really driving down the inefficiencies in some of these areas. It drove down inefficiencies in buying stocks and is starting to drive down inefficiencies in buying cars and homes.

I can get on board with the optometrist pitting.

I have two pairs of glasses, at least I used to. One for long distance general use and one for working or reading at a computer. I do not need glasses to read, I read without any glasses on just fine.

My computer distance glasses broke and I needed to go to a new eye doctor for a prescription. My previous excellent eye doctor had died so I go to the new place and explain that I needed a pair that focus about 4-5 feet away for working on the computer, since I don’t work with my face stuffed in the screen. And a set for clarity at a distance.

Most of the exam, other than checking on the health of your eyes, is subjective. The doctor can’t tell what would be correct. You go through the gadget that flips between settings and answer the “which looks better” questions.

So when we are done I end up with a prescription. The long distance glasses are not as clear as the previous set at long distance, and the computer distance glasses are fucking reading glasses. The don’t work at 4-5 feet and I don’t need them to read. they are sitting on the shelf and my supposedly distance glassed are compromised enough that they work OK at the computer distance.

But the part that burns me is that in a couple of years when the prescription expires if I want an identical pair of the glasses I now use for every thing I will not be able to get them. Prescription expired, you have to go back to the “Doctor” to get a new one.

Why do I need a prescription for a mechanical appliance whose current settings work just fine? I want the same settings, I have those settings on paper, can I please get another pair? Nope, got to go back through the highly subjective flippy machine process. Which is about 2 steps up from stone knives and bear skins. How does it look now? How about giving me the same fucking prescription?

And then there is the whole insurance separation. Eye care is a separate plan from medical. Dental is separate from medical. Why? Are these not related to my health care?

My example is, I think, just some marketing ploy, although I don’t know what purpose it served.

My old Fitbit bit the dust (“water resistant” my ass*) so I was in the market for a new one, and I liked the look and features of the new Blaze. But I couldn’t tell how thick it was and how it would feel on my wrist. Every single store that carried it did not have a display unit, and they could not (or would not) open a box for me to look at one before I bought. Every other model had a display unit.

I guessed that this was something to do with it being new - maybe they wanted to see how many people would buy without seeing it in person for a while (this makes no sense to me but there’s no accounting for marketing sometimes).

Anyway, I bought one and it was fine, but I am still puzzled. It can’t be a coincidence that every single store (I tried three) had the units in stock but would not display one.

Re: mattresses, my complaint is that there is no way to comparison shop because every store has a differently-named model (for what is probably the same mattress) than the other stores.

*I wore it in the shower all the time. After 9 months it just died, I think it shorted out when I tried to connect it to the charger or something like that. The new one I am not wearing in the shower.

I doh’t understand how the mattress thing is anyone’s fault. When I sold furniture at Sears (a quarter ago, admittedly), we’d pick a reurned mattress up for free, and the same was true of the set my wife & I bought last summer, so the customer wasn’t inconvenienced. How would you change things?

When I sold furniture & mattresses – again, back in the 90s – we put cheapo mattresses in with the bedroom sets, because those were just for show. The mattress section was arranged by price. And we actively encouraged mattress shoppers to lie on multiple mattresses for as long as they wanted and on as many different ones as they wanted, because, as the OP points out, once sold and returned, they couldn’t be resold, so we wanted to get it right the first time.

It was all but pointless to sell the cheapest mattresses anyway. They paid only 0.5% commission and, unless being bought for a guest room or a redheaded stepchild, always came back.

In the store you can see exactly what have they put on the bed. Sometimes there is a pad (I’ve never seen multiples), sometimes there is not, but it’s always quite visible.

My last optometrist did the “look at the paper with tiny lettering which I’m not letting you hold yourself” thing. The previous one let me hold the paper (which was in a normal letter size) and let me browse in his computer for a bit. Sadly, he’s several hundred kilometers away…

I understand the point of putting certain things in what appears to be the last place anybody looks for them (it took me several tries to learn that clothespins go in “other household items” and not in “laundry”), yes, it’s to make you walk around the store looking for them because hey, impulse shopping. But supermarkets aren’t my favorite place to go for a walk…

Also on board with this one. My left eye is astigmatic and near-sighted. My right eye is 20/20 at distance but, with age, can no longer focus close. So I’ve asked for computer glasses. Unfortunately, my optometrist has decided that my near sighted eye needs no correction. So when I put the laptop at a reasonable distance, the left eye is blurry when the right eye is in focus. Yeah, even simply asking how far from the face the laptop screen usually ends up would have avoided that.

This is one of those professions that will be easily replaced by robots.

Please look it this device. Order glasses where ever you want.

Thank you.

Ruby Robot.

When we bought a mattress a couple of years ago we went to a bunch of stores, and never had any problems lying on the mattresses as long as we wanted to. We quickly found that some of the popular ones did not appeal to us at all. The one we did get we’ve been happy with. So I’m a reasonably happy customer.
Of course you can’t really sleep on one, or see how one feels if you don’t have your clothes on, or try out sex on one -(that would be a draw) but given the constraints of an open business, it is not bad.

My particular objection to buying glasses is not with getting the prescription. I have bad eyes and have worn glasses for 52 years now. I’m used to the drill.

It’s when I go to get the prescription filled and the glasses fitted. I wear the bridge about 1/5 or 1/4 of the way down my nose. There are prominent marks on my nose from wearing my glasses that way for 52 years. I get frames with long earpieces to allow for the way in which I wear them. They don’t pay attention to that.

“Oh, we have to smash the frames into your eyebrows, otherwise we don’t get the right focal point.” Well, you dimwits, if you don’t adjust the focal point to where I actually wear the glasses, it’s not fucking right! Someday, I’ll find someone who actually listens to this, and then, given my luck, I’ll die two days later.

Oh, Roderick. Ever since you told me you wore it in the shower, I’ve thought of you every time mine gets a splash, and wondered why I’m not as cool as you.

The instructions *do *say “do not wear in the shower”. I checked.